The mission of Privacy First with regard to the new Passport Act seems to succeed. Dutch government plans for centralized storage of biometric data are likely to have definitively been cancelled. This is what we have learned from well-informed sources inside the government. Now the Dutch House of Representatives is also turning its back to storage in a national database, better known as the Online Accessible Travel Documents Administration (Online Raadpleegbare Reisdocumentenadministratie, ORRA). Click HERE for an article about this in Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant of 3 February 2011.

The ‘decentralized storage’ of biometric data since the summer of 2009 in Dutch municipal databases is all that remains now. However, in essence this ‘decentralized storage’ is just as centralized as a national database (certainly through possible data linkage), with almost the same risks. What many people seem to have forgotten is that the current ‘decentralized storage’ by municipalities used to be called ‘centralized storage’ well into the new millennium. At the same time, the technical term ‘decentralized storage’ traditionally only refers to the storage of data in the passport or ID card itself. Privacy First is keen to draw your attention to this deliberate shift in terminology by the Dutch government. Strictly speaking, the abrogation of ‘centralized storage’ of biometrics should not just encompass any national database but also the storage in municipal databases. Only then will there be decentralized storage in the true sense of the word: merely in the chip in the passport or ID card.

Have you become intrigued by the government’s trickery with databases? Then read this article (in Dutch) about it by Het Nieuwe Rijk ('The New State') on the Sargasso website.

Published in Biometrics
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 19:10

British biometric database shut down

Good news from our neighbours on the other side of the North Sea: today the British decision to scrap ID cards as well as a national biometric database has officially come into force. This came about with one stroke of the pen by Queen Elizabeth. The responsible Home Office Minister Damian Green gave the following clarification: ‘‘The Identity Card Scheme represented the worst of government. It was intrusive, bullying, ineffective and expensive.’’ We hope the British have set a good example. When will the Netherlands follow suit?

Update: more about this news report in WebwereldNRC's 'Recht en Bestuur' and NRC Next (in Dutch).

 

Published in Biometrics
Monday, 29 November 2010 21:25

Hague impressions of the Passport Trial

Below is an extensive photo impression of the day of our Passport Trial at the Palace of Justice in The Hague. These pictures were taken by press photographer Guus Schoonewille of Fastfoto and can be used freely under the following title: "Privacy First Foundation, 29 November 2010, Trial against the new Passport Act. Photo: Guus Schoonewille". Click on the picture of your choice to see a larger version which you can download using your right mouse button.


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Published in Litigation

Art photographer Maarten Tromp has made a beautiful photo series of the co-plaintiffs in our Passport Trial. Three of these photos are on the left and below in small size. A large number of pictures appeared on February 2, 2011 in Dutch newspaper NRC Next. The entire series of photographs can be seen on the website of Maarten Tromp.


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Published in Litigation
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